Once Upon A Terrarium

When you google ‘what is a terrarium’ and you’re anything like me you’ll be heartened to hear they are an enclosed environment for plants requiring minimal care.

Plants and I do not get along. They look at me and wither. I over water. I under water. The only things that have ever flourished in my care are the plastic numbers from IKEA that can be whacked in the dishwasher when they look a little peaky with dust.

My sister however, was blessed with ALL the genes when it came to botany and biology. What she doesn’t know about plant life frankly isn’t worth knowing. Her current job is running the volunteer programme at Westonbirt Arboretum. For those not in the know, I think of it as a tree museum, housing every species of note in the U.K. and beyond. Prior to that she was a volunteer, running tours and answering questions. A tree guru – without argument.

Which makes it a natural progression that she would want to share her skills, passion and creativity through her new venture: Gert Lush Terrariums. Harry and I were privileged to create our own bespoke terrarium for him whilst out BBQ dinner baked.

Terrariums are basically a self nourishing climate, so the plants you bed create water vapour enough to sustain growth. If sealed, they should be able to sustain life. They don’t have the processes with which to break down matter though so we opted for a Kilmer jar which we can open if there are any dead leaves to be removed.

Harry didn’t just opt for a delicate moss and some tiny shoots of plants that would thrive in terrarium conditions though. Oh no. After careful selecting his shoots and their position, he also found some ‘pets.’ Please welcome Garry and Evil Bratt, his woodlouse twins. These insects were cheerfully dropped into his moss lined vessel, ready to live a long and stress free existence.

I’m excited that this plant life addition to our home is something that I am hard pressed to kill. The ease with which this tiny eco system will exist makes me want to go bigger and bolder. I’m thinking more desert succulents where they have an additional layer or hardiness! And you too can create and commission your very own life cycle in a bottle from my sister Claire at @gert_lush_terrariums


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